Five things to consider when choosing an agent to sell your home

Having the right agent selling your home means you’ll get the right price and be able to move on to the next phase of your life. But, beware the agent who says they ‘have just the buyer for you’.

Spoiler alert: No one agent has a buyer in their back packet waiting for your home; they become a buyer after they inspect the house. 

Here are five things to help you sort out who you want taking on the responsibility of getting top dollar for your home.

Endless listings or endless listing?

You scroll through an agent’s website and see listing after listing. The same thing appears in their office window. These people must be good. Look at all those properties. This is, quite simply, window dressing. It looks great but says nothing about their sales performance. Look at the facts: what is the average time a property is on the market? Are they fetching above or below median values for your suburb? Have they even sold a property in your suburb? Don’t be taken in by the impression of success. Ask for proof. 

Say ‘no’ to database selling 

This comes hot on the heels of the first point. You see all those listings and assume business must be going gangbusters, and the agent says they have a buyer just for you. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. If they have just the buyer, why isn’t that buyer looking at all those other listings? A good database is an essential part of any agent’s sales arsenal, but if your property is going directly to the database and not to open market, you’re not only missing out on maximising the value of your home, the agent, quite frankly, is working for a quick commission and not in your best interests. 

Local knowledge on tap

This should be obvious. An agent should know your postcode better than your postie. Ask them about the community, the lifestyle, local events, the movies and shakers. They should have their finger on the pulse and be able to tell you that Woonona beach has a punchy A-frame peak that is a swell-magnet; that what is now Headlands Hotel at Austinmer was a crumbling ruin until it was demolished in 2015, and so on. They should be a wealth of knowledge when it comes to your suburb. Why? Because knowing the people and the lifestyle that makes a community means they’ll know who the right buyer is and how to market to them.

In-house market data 

Every week the media is full of market information. But this isn’t the whole picture, nor is it the picture that suits your needs. Yes, any competent agent would be signed up to get data and insights from the big providers, such as CoreLogic (RP Data), but a great agent is also spending time collecting and drilling down into their own data to gauge market performance. Ask the agent what data they have on hand and how they use it. Data, facts, knowledge: this is what makes a difference in choosing who takes on the weighty responsibility of selling your home.

Comfortable with competition 

An agent that has a savvy marketing strategy rather than a myriad of listings, doesn’t rely on database selling, has a wealth of local knowledge, and collects and uses their own data will also be an agent that knows when to walk away. They know their niche, they are well equipped to succeed, and they are comfortable with you getting a second opinion, alternate appraisals or perhaps even being told the seller needs time to think. They will understand the importance of the relationship as much as you, and rather than pressuring you to contract them there and then, they are happy for you to take as much time as you need. They have nothing to hide.